Fairy tales can be traced back from thousands and thousands of years without really any specific time of origin. The history of fairy tales or fairy stories have fantasy creatures such as faeries, fey, goblins, elves, trolls, witches, giants, mermaids, gnomes and or talking animals. Enchantments, far-fetched events and explicitly moral tales, including beast fables, are also usually part of the plot. The term "once upon a time" is used rather than an actual reference to date and the ending is a with a “happily ever after” along with a moral.
Nadine Gordimer’s “Once upon a time” is a modern fairy tale or an inverted fairy tale which constitutes of all the elements of any common fairy tale but differs a lot in terms of flow of the story. A fairy tale is usually told to children to increase their span of creativity and imagination. But in this case the story is told to the author by herself in order to curb her fear of an intrusion in her house. The story follows a white family existing by a man, his wife and their son. They live in the suburb, in a city, in South Africa which is under the apartheid system. The separation between blacks and whites are vast, and every family in the suburb wants to be secured in any and every possible way. She uses sentences as “living happily ever after”, the title “Once upon a Time” and words like “witch” to imitate a story for children, but this is not a fairy tale. This is a story about the distance between people and the ignorance in which we see in the world. Gordimer shows that instead of living happily, the family begins to live in fear, due to preconceived believes of people regarding racial tensions and premeditated ideas about the natives.
The overpowering fear takes over the psyche of the family so much that they decide to build high concentration-camp style fences, place burglar bars over their doors and windows, and install security alarms into their houses. They live in constant fear that their... [continues]
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